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by Leah Konen

Age Range: 14 - 17

Pub Date: April 18th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4405-6108-5
Publisher: Merit Press

After their best friend takes her own life, recently graduated high school seniors Ella and Sydney are left behind to pick up the pieces and cope with the gnawing guilt that there was something they might have done to prevent Astrid from doing the unthinkable.

While Sydney opts to quell the voice inside with booze and music, Ella is plagued by nightmares and visions she can’t escape. When she confesses that Astrid has been sending her text messages and phone calls from the grave, Ella’s friends begin to question her sanity. The circumstances surrounding Astrid’s death grow even more mysterious when her cousin Jake comes to town, and it becomes clear that Ella and Sydney didn’t know their friend quite as well as they thought. Teen suicide is hardly new subject matter for young-adult fiction, and this debut fails to really distinguish itself from the rest of the pack. Though the layers of mystery surrounding Ella’s visions of Astrid add intrigue, the relationships among the girls are disappointingly underdeveloped. Konen gives lip service to the depth of the threesome’s friendship, but their connection and underlying love for one another never passes the believability test. Astrid remains an enigma throughout the story, while Sydney and Ella feel more like friends of convenience as opposed to high school besties trying to cope with a tragic loss.

Skip. (Fiction. 14-17)